Types of spare tire carriers include bed-mounted rack carriers, weld-on bracket carriers and hitch-mounted carriers. Some carriers mount directly onto the tongue of a trailer, while tire hoists carry spare tires underneath a vehicle.
Spare tire carriers are designed to fit specific vehicle types; usually, the carriers are installed on vehicles without built-in carriers. Rack-style carriers, which are made for pickup trucks, bolt or weld onto the truck bed. The V-shaped rack bolts to the spare tire and holds it off of the bed bottom for safety and easier storage.
Weld-on bracket carriers have an angled U shape with square corners. The open edges of the U shape weld to any open section of a vehicle or trailer. Each carrier features a series of pre-cut holes that match standard bolt patterns. To attach the tire, the driver pushes bolts through the holes in the tire and bracket and secures them with nuts.
For vehicles with minimal available exterior space, such as small SUVs, a hitch-mounted spare tire carrier offers a non-permanent solution. One end of the L-shaped carrier slips into the hitch mount and bolts in place, while the taller arm holds the tire in a vertical position. Hitch carriers can be used on both front and back hitches.